Tag Archives for " commercial vehicle tyres "

How to stop your commercial vehicle tyres being stolen

Tips to deter wheel and tyre theft in Brisbane

Commercial vehicle tyres can be an expensive investment. If you own a light commercial vehicle or ute and have ever bought a set of new tyres, you’ll know how expensive they can be. So, you’ll want to protect them.

For example, you’ll take precautions which help commercial vehicle tyres last longer. You’ll make sure they’re inflated to the correct pressure, that you don’t overload your vehicle, and that you rotate your tyres at regular intervals. You’ll also make sure you use a simple tyre cleaning routine to improve safety and increase tyre life.

According to a Carsafe.com.au study, 148 cars are stolen every day in Australia, and one of the country’s hotspots for car crime is Brisbane. What many don’t realise is that your tyres and wheels are at risk of being stolen, while the rest of the vehicle is left behind. So how do you protect your tyres from being stolen?

Here are five things you can do today to stop your tyres disappearing tonight:

1.    Keep your car in the garage

Okay, so this is an obvious tip. But you might be surprised at just how many people have a garage and never use it to house their ute. My advice is to get your vehicle off the street and under lock and key.

2.    No garage? Use a camera

If you don’t have a garage, consider putting a camera in a prominent position. Often, the sight of a camera is enough to deter thieves from attempting to steal your wheels. Today, these cameras don’t have to be expensive and can be linked wirelessly to your home PC.

3.    Alarm your vehicle

It’s not easy to remove wheels from a vehicle, and probable that the thieves will bump it. With an alarm fitted, they’ll be chased off by the shrill sound that wakes up the whole street. To stop the thieves before they start, put a sticker in the window warning them that there is an alarm fitted. Prevention is better than cure.

4.    Plug your lugs

There are a couple of things you can do with your wheel lugs to put off thieves. The first is to cover them. What can’t be seen can’t be coveted. Use a wheel cap to hide the lugs. That little extra effort that the thieves will need to exert could be enough to encourage them to move on. Thieves are lazy. That’s why they steal. If they didn’t mind a bit of hard graft, they’d work for their money.

Even better than a cover is to purchase specialised wheel lugs. To remove these, a thief will need a special tool. The chances of them having this are slim to none.

5.    Take care about parking

With those new set of tyres fitted, you’ll take care not to kerb your wheels. Take as much care about where you park as you do about how you park:

  • Instead of saving a couple of dollars by parking on the street, pay for a ticket to put your car in a covered car park that has security cameras.
  • If you’re out at night, park under a street light on a busy road which benefits from lots of pedestrians.

Having your wheels stolen is a massive inconvenience and a pretty expensive one. Not as bad as having your whole vehicle taken, but in the frustration stakes, not far off. Wheel theft, like car theft, is an opportunity theft. If you take the right precautions, you’ll make life difficult for thieves. You’ll remove the opportunity.

We’ve got more than 100 years’ experience in the tyre business. You’ll find our approach is personal but professional. We care about your safety, your property, and our reputation. Contact us (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form), and we’ll help you make the best choice of commercial tyres for your vehicle, driving needs and pocket. And we’ll give you a few tips on how to keep the thieves at bay in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How to make commercial vehicle tyres last longer

Tyre management strategies that will inflate your bottom line

Commercial vehicle tyres are one of the highest expenses your fleet incurs. A good tyre maintenance program will help your drivers avoid blow-outs on their trucks. A good tyre management program will help your fleet tyres last longer. And when tyres last longer, your costs fall, and your profits increase.

In this article, we discuss the causes of wear and tear on commercial vehicle tyres that should inform your fleet tyre maintenance and management program.

Who is responsible for the tyre management program?

The choice of tyres and how they are used will depend on the specifics of your fleet’s operations. It requires a good knowledge of driver routes, loads, and driving styles. Motorway work is different to inner city driving. On-road is different to off-road. If a truck is turned around between one driver and the next without a break, tyre wear is different again.

The person best placed to examine how tyres in the fleet are affected is the fleet manager. By testing over a long period, they will be able to design a suitable tyre management and maintenance program that extends tyre life. The data collected will include:

  • Total mileage
  • Wear and tear
  • Tyre costs
  • Cost per mile
  • Warranties

What causes wear and tear on commercial vehicle tyres?

Shortened tyre life is caused by a range of factors that lead to irregular tyre wear. Taking action to shrink irregular wear and tear will help to reduce fleet fuel costs and extend tyre life. Here are the leading causes of irregular wear and tear on truck tyres:

·      Overloading

Your tyres bear all the weight of the truck and its load. A common mistake is using tyres that haven’t been manufactured for the load transported.

To ensure that you buy the correct tyres for the loads being transported, divide the maximum weight of the vehicle and its load by its number of tyres. If the vehicle and load are, say, six tonnes and it is supported by four wheels, you’ll need to buy tyres with a load rating of 1.5 tonnes.

·      Improper inflation

Improper inflation reduces tyre life and decreases safety. Overinflated tyres wear in the centre. Underinflated tyres wear on the shoulders and can damage sidewalls, with structural damage following.

Daily air pressure checks will ensure tyres are inflated correctly and get your drivers to check for damage to the tyres before, during, and after every trip.

·      Poor tyre rotation

Front tyres tend to wear most on their shoulders. Rear tyres typically wear first at the centre. A good tyre rotation policy can save your life and protect your tyres.

Rotating tyres is a time-consuming operation, so work out the optimum times to rotate without increasing costs. Most fleets coincide tyre rotation with regular service programs.

·      Improper alignment and balance

Misaligned and poorly balanced wheels are a major source of tyre wear. Balance weights can become dislodged or slip, causing the truck to run out of balance. Check alignment and balance at regular intervals.

·      Poor storage practices

How and where your trucks are parked will also impact tyre life. Oil, grease, fuel, water and other solutions degrade tyre rubber. If parked in one spot for too long, tyres can develop flat spots.

Park your trucks on a cool, dry, contamination-free surface.

·      Poor driving

The poor driving technique is another major factor in commercial tyre longevity. Cornering sharply, driving too fast over poorly surfaced roads, and braking heavily all contribute to tyre wear. Signs that a driver needs re-educating as to driving style include regular damage to sidewalls, denting, scratching, and bald patches.

How to increase the life of commercial vehicle tyres

As well as taking precautions against the specific causes of wear and tear we’ve mentioned above, you should also ensure that your truck tyres are cleaned regularly. Each time the vehicle is washed, clean the tyres thoroughly to remove debris, chemicals, mud and fuel.

Ensure that your tyre maintenance and management program doesn’t neglect the inside tyres.

You can also extend tyre life with an effective retread program. Providing the structure of the tyre is sound, there is no limit on how many retreads can be made. However, you should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of retreads as part of your tyre management program.

Keep an eye on costs

An integral part of a fleet tyre management program is cost maintenance. Your records should indicate the cost per mile and include a scrap tyre analysis. Keeping these records will help to decide on which tyres are best for which application, as well as highlighting problem routes and drivers that need to improve their technique.

We’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting and maintenance of commercial vehicle tyres for a variety of fleets in Brisbane and Queensland. Contact us today on +61 07 3333 5510 or (by Skype or on our contact form) and discover the Darra advantage that benefits so many other fleet managers.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck

Commercial vehicle tyres –  What causes a commercial vehicle tyre blowout

If you’ve ever suffered a blowout while driving your car, you’ll know how scary it can be. If a blowout happens to a commercial vehicle tyre, the result could be fatal.

In this article, I’ll look at why commercial vehicle tyres might suffer a blowout and how you can reduce your risk of accidents while on the road.

Why do commercial vehicle tyres blowout?

Commercial vehicle blowouts mostly happen for one of four reasons:

  • Excessive speed
  • Poor tyre maintenance
  • Defective tyres
  • Wrong tyre placement

Driving speed is a factor that only you can regulate while you’re on the road. If you plan to drive long distances at high speed, then always make sure your tyres are inflated correctly. Of course, if you’re driving at excessive speed, an accident caused by a blowout will be deemed to be your fault.

A good tyre maintenance regime will help you detect tread wear, incorrectly inflated tyres, and damage to sidewalls. These are the major factors that contribute to blowouts of commercial vehicle tyres. Poor maintenance equals an increased risk of a blowout. And poor tyre maintenance that leads to an accident is your fault.

With a good tyre buying and maintenance programme in place, you’re more likely to notice tyre defects. We’d all like to think that we’d never get sold a defective tyre, but like all products, there is always a risk of a batch being produced with defects. The manufacturer might recall a particular model. It’s your responsibility to return the defective tyres and replace with the correct ones. If there hasn’t been a recall, any accident that has been caused by the tyre will be the responsibility of the tyre manufacturer.

If you’ve placed the wrong tyre in the wrong position on your truck, or if the tread depths aren’t correct, or the tyres are mismatched, the chances of a blowout are increased – and any accident is most definitely your fault.

As you can see, responsibility is dictated by negligence. When you’re on the road, don’t be negligent about your tyres and your truck.

The five-minute truck stop check

Whenever you take a break from driving, whether for a bite to eat or other reason, before you pull away and get back on the road, take five minutes to do a quick safety check. It should include your tyres, brakes, under the cab, and lights:

·      Lights and reflectors

Turn on the lights, walk around your truck and make sure that all your lights are in working order – including your trailer lights and indicators.

·      Under the cab

Use a torch and get close to the ground. Look right underneath the truck and check for signs of any leaks. A drip could be the sign of a big problem further down the road.

·      Brakes

Check the airlines and brakes before you pull away. Look for rust and oil. If you’ve made this check a regular habit, you’ll know exactly what to look for. What looks out of the ordinary usually is. Don’t ignore your sense of hearing, either. Often the first warning of failing brakes is the one you hear.

·      Tyres

Run a gloved hand over each tyre. Use the torchlight to make a closer inspection if you feel anything unusual. Make sure you check the sidewalls for tears and balding. If you’re in any doubt about the state of your tyres, call us here at Darra Tyres (07 3333 5510). Our mission is to keep you safe on the roads. You won’t find a more committed tyre service in West Brisbane.

Don’t become the next victim of a tyre blowout

This simple five-minute truck stop check could be the five minutes that save your life, and the lives of other road users. You never know what has happened to your tyres on the roads in the time between your pre-trip check and the first stop, and between stops.

If your truck tyre does blow out, especially on a big rig, you’re likely to lose control of the vehicle – if only for a few seconds. A tyre blowout and the few seconds immediately after is all it takes for a dangerous incident to evolve into a serious accident. When an accident involves a big truck, the probability of serious injury and death is magnified. Five minutes is all it takes to reduce the chance of this happening to you. Of all the good habits that I know, the five-minute truck stop check might just be the best.

Whatever your tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – It’s time to profit from the benefits of tyre sensors

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring system) decreases fuel costs and increases safety

In 2012, one of the world’s top tyre manufacturers, GT Radial, announced the findings of a survey that opened the lid on the real cost of underinflated tyres. It found that Australian motorists driving with underinflated tyres are wasting around 20c per litre of fuel.

In the mining, industrial and fleet industries, commercial vehicle tyre and fuel costs are the two highest costs. Helping your tyres last longer and cutting fuel costs will directly improve your bottom line.

In this article, you’ll learn why manual tyre checks aren’t enough to ensure fleet safety and reduce costs. I’ll examine the benefits of a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Finally, I’ll tell you how a TPMS works.

The five disadvantages of relying on manual tyre checks on commercial vehicle tyres

As I discussed in my last article, “How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck”, maintenance and manual checks at each stop are essential. These checks will detect damage to the tyre. But they won’t ensure that a tyre is working at its peak while you’re driving. Here are five reasons why manual checks aren’t enough to ensure your commercial vehicle tyres are performing at their peak, increasing safety, and minimising fuel consumption:

1.     Manual checks only confirm tyre pressure when parked

When a truck is parked, especially if it’s for an extended break, the tyre pressure will not be the same as when it’s running on the road. Unsafe tyre pressures could be missed.

2.     Manual checks can be inaccurate

Mistakes in manual pressure readings are not uncommon. And manual checks don’t take internal air temperatures into consideration. The result is that the tyre could be incorrectly inflated.

3.     Manual checks are infrequent

Despite advice from tyre experts, commercial vehicle tyre pressures are not checked as frequently as they should be. It leads to increased wear and tear and decreased tyre life. The result is higher tyre costs.

4.     Manual checks miss slow leaks

A damaged tyre or valve could produce a slow leak that goes undetected during manual checks. On the road, this could prove fatal.

5.     Manual checks don’t adjust tyre pressures accurately

The correct tyre pressure is dependent upon the internal temperature of the tyre. Manual checks can’t measure this. The outcome is that tyres could be inflated incorrectly.

The five benefits of TPMSs

A TPMS works on the move, providing real-time information about tyre pressures and temperatures. It adds to the effectiveness of regular manual tyre checks. It also provides the driver with an immediate warning of running problems that could also lead to engine damage.

A TPMS reduces fuel costs, increases tyre life, and reduces the time that vehicles spend in maintenance.

Automated tyre pressure and temperature checks made by a TPMS will:

1.     Reduce poor performance of manual checks

A TPMS is continuous, automated, and accurate. Human error is reduced, and the scans made by TPMSs are accurate to within 1% or 2%.

2.     Decrease fuel consumption

Every tyre which is underinflated will increase fuel consumption. GT Radial research concluded that a tyre running at a pressure just 5PSI below its recommendation could use 10% more fuel. Proper tyre inflation minimises fuel consumption.

3.     Increase tyre life

Improper inflation is a direct cause of increased wear and tear on tyres. A TPMS monitors tyres efficiently and effectively, helping to make sure they don’t fail before their next service.

4.     Reduce downtime

A TPMS eliminates errors and reduces the time it takes for manual tyre checks to be made. Because your tyres are working at the correct pressures, you’ll suffer fewer problems. The result is that downtime will be hammered.

5.     Improve road safety

Drivers will operate more safely, responding to tyre pressure changes as they occur. It reduces the risk of blowouts and accidents.

How does a TPMS work?

A TPMS is easy to install. A sensor is screwed into the wheel or rim or sometimes screwed directly into the valve. This sensor measures tyre pressure and internal air temperature.

The measurements are constantly made, and transmitted wirelessly to an in-cab monitor. The monitor can be configured to signal alerts at pre-specified ranges.

Fleet managers can then download data to the management PC. The software is used to produce charts and graphs. It enables easily identifiable tyre performance issues, which can be used in driver education as well as informing about tyre maintenance schedules. This information can also be used to make better commercial vehicle tyre purchasing decisions.

Isn’t it time you invested in a TPMS?

If you haven’t already, it may be time to invest in a TPMS. Tyre and fuel costs aren’t going down in the long term. A TPMS is easy to install, easy to use, and provides real benefits to commercial fleets. Automatic, real-time data helps your driver adjust driving style and increase tyre life.

Tyre problems are identified immediately, instead of at the end of a long-haul trip.

A TPMS doesn’t negate the need for manual tyre checks. But it does add an extra level of commercial vehicle tyre security that will help fleet managers achieve important aims:

  • Improve road safety
  • Increase tyre life
  • Decrease fuel consumption

Whatever your fleet tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Cheers,

Kevin Wood

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